Nobody likes crowds. The bumping, the jostling, the confusion of figuring out if the person walking directly towards you is going to turn left or right before you collide… While most Walt Disney World visitors share a common distaste for crowds, for some, the stress of a sea of strangers can ruin a good vacation.
We’ve talked about dealing with crowds before on Theme Park Tourist, whether you’re an introvert visiting The Most Magical Place on Earth, whether you struggle with social anxiety or panic attacks, or even if you just need some hacks for casual guests to navigate crowds easier. Heck, we’ve even covered that special level of madness that kicks in when we all want to lose it in Disney crowds. Even with the best advice, there are some places at Walt Disney World that are unpleasant no matter what for people who don’t like crowds. If you enjoy your Disney vacation on the more peaceful side, you may want to avoid these eight spots that make Mickey’s magical world feel a bit more like Simba’s wildebeest stampede. How many of these have you encountered?
1. The World of Pandora at Disney's Animal Kingdom
The World of Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom has proven one of Disney’s most successful park expansions thus far. While this immersive new land saw understandably high crowds its first year, it has steadily remained one of Walt Disney World’s most attended lands, particularly thanks to its star attraction, Avatar: Flight of Passage.
Unfortunately, this success has meant there is almost no time you can completely avoid crowds at Disney’s World of Pandora. Yes, crowd levels are reasonable first thing in the morning and on light days, but this is a rarer occurrence than you’d expect. If you do manage to avoid crowds in Pandora, consider yourself lucky. Weekend nights and peak season get particularly uncomfortable in this winding land, to the point Disney has been known to limit entry if Pandora reaches capacity. Expect some shoulder bumping and awkward encounters if you visit on even a remotely busy day.
2. Magic Kingdom parade routes
It’s an unfortunate reality that most of the crowd bottlenecks in Walt Disney World are found in or around Magic Kingdom. It makes sense—even with the success of Pandora, Magic Kingdom remains Disney’s busiest park. It also wasn’t completely built with convenient crowd flow in mind.
Easily the most uncomfortable crowd traps in Magic Kingdom are parade routes. While there are some ways to determine ahead of time where a parade will be passing, it is astonishingly easy to get stuck in a slow-moving river of bodies when a parade or fireworks are near. Once the show starts, visitors can find themselves stuck on the wrong side of the park when crossways close (for example, never wait until a parade has started to try to get to Tom Sawyer Island). While Disney does an admirable job trying to manage this chaos, it’s still stressful.
If you hate crowds, arrange your Magic Kingdom visit with parades and fireworks in mind. Make sure you are in the section of the park you want to visit well before a parade starts and try to hit E-ticket rides during shows. You’ll actually find lines might be shorter!